Galatians 5:22-23 (AMP)
22 But the fruit of the Spirit [the result of His presence within us] is love [unselfish concern for others], joy, [inner] peace, patience [not the ability to wait, but how we act while waiting], kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control. Against such things there is no law.
If there was ever a time the fruit of the Spirit needs to be seen in our nation among believers, it is now. Jesus said you shall know them by their fruit and this week we look at the fruit of the Spirit. We sometimes want to show off how full of the Spirit we are by how we preach or how we speak in tongues but the bible is very clear about the results people will see as a result of Gods Spirit working within us. The first is love, unselfish concern for others.
We all long to love and to be loved. The fruit of love is the unselfish care for another’s Godly benefit. Many times we love people who are like us. As soon as we meet someone who is different, maybe they worship differently, they express themselves differently and so on, we begin to criticize instead of loving. Our love tends to be conditional and we love as long as our expectations are met.
When Godly love which is a fruit of the Spirit is evident in your life, then you will love people unconditionally because you begin to see all people through the eyes of Christ.
The golden rule tells us to love our neighbor as we love ourselves. It matters not whether our neighbor is like us or different, saved or not, the golden rule states that we ought to love them as ourselves.
One time as we were having our pastors meeting, a seasoned pastor who acts as a mentor to us asked us this question.
“What are your expectations over the people that you pastor?” We went on to state all manner of expectations. We expect them to give to support the ministry. We expect them to show up for Sunday service. We expect them to love and honor us.
And the list went on and on. Then he asked, “Will you still love and serve them if they do not fulfill any of the expectations you have of them?” The whole room went quiet.
True love shows the Godly nature in us! Jesus said that the world would know that He is real if we love one another. 1 John 4:8 tells us that anyone who does not love cannot claim to know God because God is love.
Love is not just words but deeds, when you say you are full of God’s Spirit, are your actions towards others displaying His love? Love is not a feeling but a choice. Do you love unconditionally or do you only love when certain conditions that favor you are met?
We are to love one another unconditionally and humanly speaking, that is impossible and that is why it takes the Holy Spirit to birth the fruit of love in us! Remember we can do all manner of great things but if they are done without love then they are meaningless.
• What are some of the things that cause you to hold back your love towards others?
• How would your life be if God dealt with you in the same manner withholding His love from you from time to time?
• What do you need to do to create the climate for the fruit of the Spirit to grow in your life?